A whole heaping helping of news coming out of Norman today.
Shane Beamer will be joining OU’s coaching staff.
In a surprising move, the progeny of legendary Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer is coming over from Georgia as the Sooners’ mysterious 10th assistant coach.
Beamer will serve as assistant head coach for the offense. Oddly enough, ESPN’s Chris Low noted when he broke the news that Beamer will have a hand in putting together offensive game plans with head coach Lincoln Riley.
Not to be conspiracy theory guy, but I wonder if Beamer’s new title and job description have something to do with the stipulations of his contract with Georgia. Frankly, giving him that much sway over the offense at a program like Oklahoma seems strange. Beamer appears to be well respected, but he is also somewhat undistinguished after coaching running backs for four years at Tech and tight ends for the last two with the Bulldogs.
On the plus side, young Shane is classically trained in Beamerball. After his apprenticeship in Blacksburg, he oversaw special teams for UGA for the last two years. The squad was rock solid in that phase, and it should surprise no one if Riley delegates those same responsibilities to him in Beamer's new position.
All that being said, two things about this hire concern me. First, Beamer lacks experience recruiting in Texas. While I don’t believe that should be a prerequisite for a job at OU, it does strike me as a big plus.
Sure, Beamer might help the Sooners make some recruiting inroads in the South. Even so, is he bringing enough to the table with those regional connections to justify giving him a spot on the staff?
Second, I don’t see any evidence that Kirby Smart fought to prevent Beamer’s departure. I realize that is far from scientific; still... suspicious.
Cale Gundy is up for a gig with Kevin Sumlin at Arizona.
That’s per Bruce Feldman, our buddy from SI.com.
Interestingly, Feldman has really tight connections with Sumlin. Arizona’s new head coach knows Gundy from their time together on OU’s coaching staff in the 2000s. Sumlin also knows all about Gundy’s recruiting prowess.
If Gundy wants a shot at calling plays, that’s not coming anytime soon in Norman. Although Noel Mazzone will serve as offensive coordinator for Sumlin to start, Gundy would have a far shorter path to that position going through Tucson.
It may just be a coincidence, but Gundy’s current job responsibilities at OU would mesh with Beamer’s background.
Abdul Adams is transferring to Syracuse.
As the third man in a two-back rotation for most of the 2017, it makes sense that Adams would prefer to do his ball carrying elsewhere. After sitting out 2018, he will almost assuredly take over as the Orange’s featured runner in 2019.
Syracuse’s gain in this case is OU’s loss. Despite the occasional bouts with fumbleitis, Adams proved to be a strong, explosive back with breakaway speed. It doesn’t take much for depth to thin out quickly in the backfield, and having a runner like that at your disposal can never hurt.
Getting early enrollee T.J. Pledger up to speed now takes on even greater importance this spring for the coaching staff.